Secretary of Suffolk National Union of Teachers deems Lowstoft high school inspection unfair

Benjamin Britten high School headteacher Andrew Hine.

Benjamin Britten high School headteacher Andrew Hine. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A union has said it was unfair to inpsect a school later judged to be 'inadequate' while two-thirds of teachers were on strike and hundreds of pupils out of class.

Ofsted visited Benjamin Britten High School in Lowestoft on October 15 and 16, despite disruption caused by industrial action over the school's pay policy.

The school was yesterday put into special measures, meaning three out of four schools in the Suffolk town are now judged to be failing by Ofsted.

The inspection came after 37% of pupils this summer gained the 'gold standard' of five GCSEs at A*-C, including English and maths, falling below the government's floor standard of 40%.

At the time, Ofsted said it was justified in carrying out the inspection during the strike because more than a quarter of pupils were at school. The school did not ask for the inspection to be deferred.

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It said: 'Leaders and managers have not brought about the essential improvements identified at the last inspection. Since then, standards have fallen. A breakdown in relations between some staff and school leaders has disrupted students' learning.'

Graham White, secretary of the Suffolk National Union of Teachers (NUT), said: 'It is like saying a team did not play well when they are under strength. It is not a fair judgment.'

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